How to ship piano and not be a scam victim?

Posted by: CindyAnne

How to ship piano and not be a scam victim? - 08/28/06 02:07 PM

I've got a few things listed for sale on the internet and have had several scam attempts. I guess they all run the same theme - they want it shipped, they send you a check, then they cancel, and you refund them money, but their check is bad, and so on ( or something like this). I'm on to this because I received some fishy emails and when I googled sentences out of them I saw the scams. They are very similar to the scams warned about on here in the piano seeling section.

So, my question is this. I have a piano advertised on here. I've received a couple of innocent sounding emails about having the piano shipped someplace. How do I handle this? How do I know if these are scams? Is it common to sell a piano to someone far away and ship it?

THANKS SO MUCH for any advice.

- Cindy
Posted by: Piano Gal

Re: How to ship piano and not be a scam victim? - 08/28/06 03:04 PM

Just have the money wired to your account. Accept no other form of payment.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: How to ship piano and not be a scam victim? - 08/28/06 03:45 PM

CindyAnne :

A few questions :

1. What is the piano (make, size) that you are trying to sell?

2. What (approximate) price are you expecting to get for the piano?

3. Where are you located? Is there a reason you are listing this piano on the Internet rather than trying to sell it locally?

4. Any Internet sales that end up not being local will involve shipping expenses either by you = loss of profit in the sale or by the buyer = increase of cost, which in either case may discourage the sale you are hoping to get. I would think that only a piano worth several thousands of dollars would be advantageous to sell over the Internet, since the cost of shipping on a less expensive instrument would negate any profits or bargains otherwise realized by a local sale.

Just my $.02 ...

Regards,
Posted by: scutch

Re: How to ship piano and not be a scam victim? - 08/28/06 03:45 PM

As an alternative if you do not want to give out your account information just state that the check must clear before they can take posession -money orders or cashier checks are easier than personal checks and you can set this limit as well.
Also let them know that shipping is their responsibility and give a time limit for moving it out of your place.
It may also help to state no returns - this may cause someone to hire a tech to evaluate it before they buy - helping you to get more serious offers.
Be sure that the only emails that you respond to are within your ebay account (if that is what you are using) just delete any attempts to email you personally.
Posted by: kluurs

Re: How to ship piano and not be a scam victim? - 08/28/06 05:06 PM

Isn't Paypal a possibility?
Posted by: chr

Re: How to ship piano and not be a scam victim? - 08/28/06 05:48 PM

I bought a piano out of state and had it shipped.

I used escrow.com to handle the transaction.
I (the buyer) paid the escrow and shipping fees.

If you use escrow.com, the buyer sends in money to the escrow account. The seller then ships. Once the piano is received, money is released to the seller.

It all worked fine. Escrow.com is not that expensive.
Posted by: sleepy

Re: How to ship piano and not be a scam victim? - 08/29/06 07:59 AM

There was a thread on this subject not long ago. I had mentioned that I sold a piano long distance over the internet, and what I did was open a new bank account, have the buyer wire the money into it, and then I emptied and closed the account immediately. That worked out fine for me.

But then a bunch of people posted about how I didn't have to do that, and also that it is still not safe to have money wired and that cashier checks and money orders can be faked, and etc etc.

I can't remember what the consensus was on what was the best way to handle being paid long distance. Maybe someone can remember where that thread was...

Sorry, I know this didn't help at all!

sleepy
Posted by: mikhailoh

Re: How to ship piano and not be a scam victim? - 08/29/06 08:09 AM

Whatever way you do it, just nmake sure you have the money PERMANENTLY before the piano leaves your posession.
Posted by: CindyAnne

Re: How to ship piano and not be a scam victim? - 08/31/06 09:38 AM

Thanks everybody!

I have this piano (a Yamaha U1) listed on the internet, because it's expensive ($5500) and I live in sort of an economically challenged area (Rochester NY).

This is all so confusing maybe I'll try harder to sell it locally.
Posted by: BDB

Re: How to ship piano and not be a scam victim? - 08/31/06 11:26 AM

Something else you should be aware of!
Posted by: Derick II

Re: How to ship piano and not be a scam victim? - 08/31/06 11:51 AM

First of all CASHIER'S checks are as bad as, if not worse than, personal checks.

CERTIFIED checks are checks where the bank withdraws the money from the check-writers account right then and there. It looks like a personal check only with a stamp on it saying it's been certified. But, as the website BDB pointed out, these can be faked.

The best thing to do is to set up a separate bank account and have the buyer wire the money into that account. The shippers can call the buyer and confirm the piano does exist, after which the funds are wired into your account. Assuming you have online banking, the funds should show up in your account 15 minutes after they've been wired.

You DO NOT pay for the shipping, ever. They do. After the money is in your separate account, and the shippers begin the move - it is the buyers piano. If the shippers drop it or damage it, that's the buyers problem.

Immediately transfer the money from your separate bank-account to your regular account.

Derick
Posted by: BruceD

Re: How to ship piano and not be a scam victim? - 08/31/06 03:28 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by CindyAnne:
Thanks everybody!

I have this piano (a Yamaha U1) listed on the internet, because it's expensive ($5500) and I live in sort of an economically challenged area (Rochester NY).

This is all so confusing maybe I'll try harder to sell it locally. [/b]
CindyAnne :

Have you had someone help you determine the selling price of your piano? You might want to rethink that price. As recently as a year ago, one could buy a new Yamaha U1 for well under $6,000.00US, so a used U1 at $5500.00 plus shipping may not be considered much of a bargain by many piano shoppers.

Regards,